Hamilton: ‘Super brain’ Elliott not responsible for Mercedes decline


Lewis Hamilton has dismissed suggestions that departing chief technical officer Mike Elliott has paid the price for Mercedes’ decline, insisting the team’s unsuccess is “not down to one person”.

Mercedes announced earlier this week that Elliott, a veteran of 12 years with the Brackley squad who oversaw the design and development of the team’s ill-fated zero-sidepod aero concept, had moved on to a new chapter in his life.

Earlier this year, Elliott moved into the role of Chief Technical Officer following a job swap with James Allison to lead the team’s technical strategy and engineering capability while establishing its foundation for the future.

There was no suggestion in Mercedes’ statement that Elliott had been forced to relinquish his role as CTO, or any hint that Elliott’s exit was linked to the team’s struggles that began last season.

Even so, Hamilton stepped up to nip in the bud any rumors to the contrary and to praise Elliott’s contribution to Mercedes’ success over the years.

“What we have to remember is nothing is down to one person. We do everything as a team,” said the seven-time world champion who first worked with Elliott at McLaren in 2007.

“There are so many moving parts at the factory, so there’s not a single individual responsible for where we are, it’s a collective.

“I’m definitely sad to see Mike go. I have known him since my McLaren days. Before I raced for McLaren [in F1], he was there.

“I have had a great relationship with Mike. I’ve loved working with him, within this team. He’s such an intelligent individual.


“He was someone I would always speak to on aerodynamics. He was amazing at explaining everything to me, so I learned a lot from him.

“But it’s his decision to move on and do something different. I wish him absolutely all the best and I’m super grateful for all his contributions over these years. I know whatever he’s going to do next, he’s going to be great because he’s a super brain.”

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell, who delivered to the team its only win since the beginning of 2022, a feat achieved in Brazil a year ago, reminded everyone that Elliott was at the forefront of the team’s engineering department during its period of unwavering success between 2014 and 2021.

“It’s never one individual who makes or breaks success,” Russell told Sky F1. “It’s always a collective. You’ve always got a leader, somebody at the helm sort of steering the ship.

“We have five exceptionally talented designers, engineers, who are at the top of the design group. Then we have an amazing design office, aerodynamics department and racing… who [all] follow their lead.


“As the saying goes ‘we win and lose together,'” Russell added.

“Mike has been a huge part of the team and it’s very important that we remember he was the chief aerodynamicist during all of the glory years, and arguably, alongside the technical director, that is the most vital part of every F1 team.

“Mike has been a huge part of that success and I wish him well.”

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